The True Self Project

Beneath the surface of the protective parts of trauma survivors there exists an undamaged essence, a Self that is confident, curious, and calm, a Self that has been sheltered from destruction by the various protectors that have emerged in their efforts to ensure survival.

Bessel van der Kolk


We've got to fix the hole in the soul.

Oprah Winfrey

The purpose of the True Self Project (TSP) is to address the often unrecognized damage of developmental trauma. This is the trauma of the early years of life before explicit memory is operative. This is the trauma provoked by the adults in a child’s life through the adult’s own unmet needs, losses and pain. It visits upon the child the parent’s unresolved life issues. Since humans cannot escape their environment, the children are part and parcel of it. They do not realize who they have become in order to survive the vicissitudes of their early life. Most of us do not recognize that much of what we do is a reaction to past events rather than response to Now. The feeling of emptiness and defectiveness is often a part of the felt life but there is no understanding as to why, or what to do – no recognition of True Self.


This is a four-step program based on the inherent human need to be touched, to be seen, to be heard, to be understood, and to be valued for who we really are. We participants have examined our emotions, thoughts and actions and have symbolized them through the arts in order to communicate Self to ourselves and to the world.


For more information about how TSP works, go to our TSP Program page.


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TheTrue Self Project

Oprah Winfrey

TheTrue Self Project